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Why should I consider buying projectors for my church rather than other display technologies?
Integrating video into worship services means seeking out a display that is large and bright enough to reach—and captivate—hundreds of congregation members at once.

For most sanctuaries, the obvious choice is a projector. Images can be expanded and reduced depending on the number viewers, an option not available with standard flat-panel displays.

Projectors are simply the most effective video technology to create the desired worship environment.

What types of projectors should I consider for my church?
The market currently offers projector models that range in price from hundreds of dollars to six figures. Few churches have unlimited funds, and most congregations will want to spend much closer to the former figure than to the latter.

Current technology for DLP and LCD projectors each offer their own sets of benefits, and high performance projectors are much easier to find at affordable prices. 

How can I use projectors to best suit the nature of my church's services?
Houses of worship are increasingly turning to video systems to display testimonials, a magnified image (IMAG) of the pastor and choir, song lyrics, and Bible verses.

In larger houses of worship, the number of projectors simply multiplies, with individual projectors dedicated to respective segments of the congregation.

What factors should I think about when selecting projectors?
1. Brightness
Every sanctuary is different, of course. Some are immense; some are more intimate. Some are windowless, and, in many, sunlight streams through stained-glass windows.

There is, then, no one-size-fits-all solution for projector brightness, but most sanctuaries' requirements will fall into a general range.

Most churches are large and have ambient light, so they need high-brightness projectors. The brighter the projector, the larger the image you can project onto a screen. A brightness at around 4,500 to 5,000 lumens is ideal for most sanctuaries.

2. Lenses
This is an important feature for many churches, especially those that are trying to preserve their sanctuary aesthetics by keeping gear out of sight. Install a projector in the back of the room, or underneath the balcony, and it might need a long-throw lens to reach the screen adequately.

This can become moot, however, for a sanctuary that can install a projector in a room behind the altar, in a rear-projection configuration.

3. Control
In any church service, downtime is something to be avoided at all costs. For that reason, a simple projector feature such as power-up time is something to consider.

The next control issue is sending the proper video sources to your projector. Having a lot of inputs on the projector is important, because you're probably going to be plugging in multiple sources: DVD players, televisions, cameras, computers, etc.

Connections to look out for include RGB, BNC, S-Video, composite, and component.  Also consider the use of a wireless multifunction switcher, this allows for less wiring from the various sources to the projector.

4. Networking
Networking not only provides the user with information on each projector, but it also allows the user to control each projector to a certain degree.

Certain functions can be automated, so a single keystroke can turn the power on and off at a set time each day, image settings can be adjusted according to the needs of a particular service and the default settings of a variety of features can be preset, all without touching a single projector.

This article is courtesy of Hitachi America, Ltd. Business Solutions Group, www.hitachi-ameria.us/projectors.

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